In our 2015 survey, when asked about strategic actions organisations had taken or were considering taking, 78 per cent of respondents had or were considering making further cost savings. Fast forward 12 months and cutting back expenditure has moved even higher up the agenda for RPs, with 89 per cent of respondents in our latest survey having made or considering making further cost savings. We haven’t seen the figure this high since our 2013 survey and it is reflective of cost reduction plans many RPs have put in place since the July 2015 Budget announcements.
Although RPs are still developing, there is evidence of a change in focus from having social rent to developing homes for low cost ownership and market rental. 55 per cent of respondents this year have or are considering developing for market rent, and worryingly 43 per cent of respondents have or are considering reducing plans for social rental homes. This is a real change in direction in the type of properties being built by the sector and is likely to be a reaction in response to the government agenda.
Measuring social impact can be used by RPs to help demonstrate VfM and to forecast expected outcomes from both existing and new activities. We’re seeing an increase in the number of RPs using social impact methodology across the country, and this is reflected in our survey results this year. 42 per cent of respondents have measured their social impact and a further 26 per cent considering doing so.Download the full PDF report